Alienor Cellars: winery information
Winemaker: Denis Malbec
Former winemaker of Château Latour, Denis Malbec, and his Swedish wife May-Britt, has since 2001 made wines in California. Most of their time, they make and blend wines as consultants for their customers, among them the top notch Kapcsándy Family Wines in Yountville and Blankiet Estate (since January this year). Under their own label Notre Vin, they make some exquisite wines at one of their customers winery in Sonoma, the well structured and intensely fruity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the even better but far too expensive Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Their Pinot Noir Clos Madeleine from Sonoma Coast is good, but lacks finesse and intensity. They also make a very interesting wine from grapes sources in Kelseyville in Lake County, called Alienor. The Merlot is planted in 1993 in the Roster Vineyard, the Cabernet Franc from a suitcase clone from Bordeaux in 1999, and the Petit Verdot a Quercus Ranch in 2002. Depending on the vintage, the cuvée varies a lot. These are the first three vintages. Harvest is done by hand, followed by a careful sorting process, light crush and a five to seven day long cold soak. Fermentation is taken place in small stainless steel tanks with regular remontage. The cuvaison stretches over three weeks, and thereafter the wine is transferred into small French oak barrels, of which 60 per cent are new, for malolactic fermentation and 20-22 months of ageing.
Annual Production: 1,000 cases